Against the backdrop of Chief Justice (CJ), Roxanne George announcing that the “majority” and “dual citizen” challenges to the no confidence resolution will be ruled on by the end of January, People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Attorney Anil Nandlall expressed happiness with the decision.
Speaking to media operatives following Tuesday’s High Court hearing of the challenges outside of the courtroom, the former Attorney General noted that his confidence in the Court is at an all-time high since it recognizes the urgency of the matter.
Further, Nandlall noted that if the decision of the Court is to be challenged by the aggrieved party/parties, this matter must also be heard before the expiration of the time frame fixed by the constitution for elections to be held.
“I’m very happy that the Court recognizes that this matter must be heard and determined in this Court, the Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) within that 90 days period and this is the Chief Justice of the country. And once the Chief Justice says that, I am satisfied that we will have a disposal of this matter, in the manner contemplated by the constitution” Nandlall explained.
According to Nandlall, the constitution provides for a timeline to be prescribed in order for matters before the Court to be dealt with in a fair manner.
Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”
Meanwhile, clause 7 goes on to state that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”
As such, the Member of Parliament (MP) expressed his satisfaction with the Court ensuring that the balance of interest is effective.
“We have to balance the interest here. You have a right to be heard by a litigant which must be balanced against the constitutional timeline prescribed and the Court must ensure that both of those competing interest are addressed and dealt with in a fair and just manner so at the end of the day the litigant goes away from the Court feeling that he had his case ventilated, he had his right ventilated, he was heard fairly by the Court and at the same time, the constitutional deadline fixed by the constitution for the elections to be held is also met. So at the end of the day you have both expectations served and justice served again” Nandlall posited.
Moreover, the former Attorney General said that “Even if they seek to appeal, that the appeal to the Court of Appeal and the CCJ will be completed while constitutional time is running and concluded before the expiration of date for elections.”